And this week’s talk-about topic shall be… Managing Small Children at Mass.
This is a subject that comes up frequently, and for good reason. Bringing kids, especially the little ones, to church can be a daunting task. And by daunting I mean sanity-sappingly perfectly impossible. When I answered a reader’s question about this a year ago I was talking about ideals. But I am a realist, too. So on other days, I tell it like it is.
After all, bringing any number of small bodies into a confined space and expecting them to sit still and remain quiet for an hour or more sounds a little bit like a bad joke, doesn’t it? I remain firm in my insistence that’s it’s a worthwhile endeavor, though. Over the years my family has reaped many benefits from making the effort to attend Mass as a family, littlest ones included. And experience has further shown that when little ones have the older ones’ good examples, it does get a bit easier.
To start people thinking, here is for an article I wrote for the National Catholic Register sharing how other families handle Sunday morning madness. And the always delightful Elizabeth Foss has also written an article on this subject. But I know not everyone feels the same way about bringing small children to Mass, however. Here, Susan Di Silvestri shares an alternate point of view.
So what do you say? Do you bring small children to Mass or do you wait until they are older? Are you a cry room person or do you try to avoid it? If you aren’t a parent (or no longer have small children) what words of encouragement can you offer those of us who still struggle? If you are an experienced parent, what advice can you share with frazzled Sunday morning parents everywhere?